Monday, April 3, 2017

Day 3 of NaPoWriMo - Elegy

Elegy to my grandfather....who prayed laying down.


He prayed lying down
with his quiet smoke;
and folded prayers
into his wrinkles.
At the bottom
of his coffee mug, he kept
grounds divined into futures,
none of which were his.
They were mine,
brown bitter symbols;
he would swish them
like rose petals in water.
He taught me how to pray
with my fingers and throat,
how to sing away anything.
So I prayed lying down, too,
into the crooked shade of night,
sent my prayers high up
into the clouded stars.
I cracked any measure of faith
like an egg onto the moon
and set its dial to high;
cooked it into charcoal
and dust, burned it into
something bitter he could taste.
I wanted to make faith
into something I could rub
rough between my fingers
just like when he rolled
tobacco between paper.
I wanted it to brand my insides
just as smoke tarred his lungs.
But that one morning,
he smudged his coffee mug
with his desperate soot,
while he smoked lying down.
I tried to collect his ash
in a tray, tidy it up, like faith I tried
to pick it up, tried to make it stay,
but just like him, it slipped away.